Entries in Out Magazine (3)

Friday
Jul212017

Updates, Updates, DROWNING IN UPDATES

So, The View UpStairs ended and I got hit with a wave of Brooke Shields post-partum emotions and had to go deal with that for a moment. The past couple months have been filled with spiritually replenishing binges of netflix, ice cream, vintage 90s RPGs, crystal bedazzling, and jumping head first into my next massive creative project, KPOP!!! 

All of which is to say, I'm finally ready to dig myself out of a hole and update ya'll on all the crazy life-changing sh*t that went down between Spring and Summer. READY?? 

Here goes: 

1. I WENT TO MUTHAF*CKIN MOROCCO???? Yeah gurl I did. Here's me finding out there's a sale on Berber Jewelry happening 5 miles away.  

Someone told me there were Berber brooches on sale 3 miles away 🏃🏼✨

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 6, 2017 at 9:50am PDT

and this tasteful photo montage.

2. The View UpStairs went on to play 105 performances, to audiences of over 12,000 people (!!!) with many sold out houses like dis one below (definitely slept with at least two of the peeps in this photo, #sorrynotsorry)

who gave us some standing O love 

 & some more sparkly queer icons showed up like Drag Race royalty Bianca Del Rio, Latrice Royale, Peppermint, as well as theatre legends ANDRE DESHIELDS, Tony nominee Keala Settle, and 90s rockstar Sophie B Hawkins. 

some even created beautiful fan art! (thank you Dramatic Inking)

3. The View UpStairs had a GIANT LED BILLBOARD IN TIMES SQUARE for a month!!! WTF??? Seeing my name up there was truly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I'm still not sure it happened, except that I took these photos so I'm pretty sure? 

#Repost @jeremypope ・・・ hello times square 💥#TheViewUpstairs

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:15am PDT

4. Out Magazine wrote this dope piece about The View UpStairs, calling it "Remarkable, Revelatory, and Revolutionary" Pretty sure they were just talking about Jeremy Pope's bone structure https://www.out.com/theater-dance/2017/5/03/view-upstairs-why-diverse-queer-musical-vital-our-times

5. Was commisioned by the Public Theatre for a pop performance in their lobby commemorating the 60th Anniversary of their Mobile Unit. I pissed all over the floor, srry. 

 then later that same night, was back at Joe's Pub as the secret guest for Justin Sayre's final performance of the Meeting. A very gay ole time was had: 

6. I wore a kimono to closing night bc it's a known fact that that's what a lady do. 

and gave my final curtain speech 

7. The View UpStairs was ultimately nominated for 2 Lortel Awards, 3 Drama Desk Awards, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical- not to mention Frenchie & Nathan who won Jose Munoz awards for their amazing performances! We got dolled up all swanky like, and I crashed the Obies just cuz. 

Now with 300% more 🌈🌈🌈 #gay #offbroadway

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on May 23, 2017 at 6:49am PDT

8. It wasn't to be the end however bc Samuel French picked up TVU for its catalog. It will be published in the near future and is now avail for licensing (so all you kweens with theatres out there- jump on it!) 

http://www.samuelfrench.com/viewupstairs

happy to say rehearsals are already underway for new productions in Virginia (Richmond Triangle Players) and Los Angeles (Celebration Theatre), and a few more in the works I can't announce yet ;) 

9. We recorded the cast album with Broadway Records and I truly believe it is one of the greatest sounding rock musical records of all time. I say that as someone who grew up listening over and over to Rocky Horror, Hedwig, Hair, and Rent- we did it RIGHT, ya'll. I just hope the next gen of weirdo queer kids comin' up hear this record and get inspired to make some dope art...so plz preview and order that sh*t now- hot off the presses! 

http://www.broadwayrecords.com/cds/the-view-upstairs-original-off-broadway-cast-recording

10. So now, we bid goodbye to 1973 New Orleans with its gritty glam rock, cruise-y sex, tits that exploded confetti, queer history, and tale of romance, and flashed forward to KPOP- 2017 Korea, high fashion color blocked couture, dub-step beats and pulsing synths, snail mucus, pop celebrity, and nationalism. 

featuring this lovely cast of 284902131203 people! 

after only 1 week, 30% of our entire run is sold out, so don't sleep on getting tix. Use KPOPSICLE and LOLLIPOP codes to save $$$$$ http://arsnovanyc.com/KPOP

11. To feel my KPOP star fantasy, I had to give myself a lil makeover, and bedazzle I dunno...EVERYTHING!

Blinded by sparkles! 😵😵😵 #diycouture #fashionporn #bedazzled #kpop

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:13pm PDT

 

After 4 YEARS of development, we start rehearsals in ONE WEEK. I can't believe KPOP is finally here. Now I just gotta get that pop star body. 

Is everyone having a nice Saturday night?

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 1, 2017 at 7:52pm PDT

Til' next time, Kweens and KPOP idols. Gotta go slather on my snail cream :*

This is what happens when you make theatre for @arsnovanyc 💦💦💦💦 #kpop #🐌

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jun 20, 2017 at 2:33pm PDT

Wednesday
Sep182013

out magazine Tastemakers 2013

Thrilled to be included in Out's tastemakers portfolio for 2013. You can pick up the copy on newstands now.

http://www.out.com/entertainment/2013/09/18/tastemakers-max-vernon-view-upstairs

Tastemakers 2013: Max Vernon

9.18.2013

By Jason Lamphier

Playwright, Composer, Artist.

Photography by Andy Ryan

Max Vernon would describe his enduring relationship with show tunes as more of a reluctant love affair than a calling. He announced to his family that he wanted to be on Broadway when he was just 5, but by the time he was 13, he’d grown ashamed of his aspirations. “Musical theater can really suck sometimes,” Vernon says, “so I threw myself into punk and fashion.”

By the age of 18, the Brooklyn-based composer and pianist was playing solo shows around Manhattan and designing his own costumes. His artistic skills also landed him a spot in Scholastic’s Art.Write.Now. program, in which he painted for a live audience in a glass storefront at the World Financial Center. His surreal, schizophrenic drawings (e.g., Leigh Bowery’s head attached to a spider’s body) were showcased in the Halloween 2010 window display at Patricia Field’s flagship store.

Now, however, “the pendulum is swinging back,” says Vernon, who finally succumbed to his weakness for musicals and wrote two of his own. The first, Wired, about a robot pop star struggling in a dystopian future, was a finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill Center Musical Theater Conference and the 2012 Drama League New Works grant. The second, The View UpStairs, is based on the little-known true story of a 1973 arson attack at a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people. To commemorate its victims, Vernon presented a concert version of the show this past June on the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, which remains the deadliest LGBT massacre in U.S. history. In a poetic twist, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down two days after the performance.

Vernon hopes both works will reignite a genre that he thinks is gasping for relevance and ingenuity. “It’s about finding a way to create musicals that people in the downtown club-kid scene would think are cool,” says Vernon, who was recently commissioned by Disney to compose songs for possible use in future stage productions of Disney and Pixar films. “I want to hear LCD Soundsystem in a musical; I don’t want to hear other people’s take on Sondheim. I think I can be the black sheep and piss people off by doing what you’re not supposed to do—but hopefully do it well enough that people forgive me.”

Monday
Jun172013

The View UpStairs Song Premiere - Out Magazine!

http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2013/06/17/max-vernon-view-upstairs-musical-sex-legs

The playwright unveils new musical, 'The View UpStairs,' inspired by the infamous arson that killed LGBT people in 1973.

The UpStairs Lounge Fire, a 1973 arson attack at a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people, remains the deadliest massacre in U.S. LGBT history. Now creative polymath Max Vernon has taken inspiration from the event for a musical theater event, titled The View UpStairs. 

“It’s shocking to me that most people have never heard of the UpStairs Lounge Fire, given its significance,” Vernon says. “Even as a queer studies major, the fire was never mentioned in any of my classes. Now, with the recent violence and hate crimes occurring around NYC, it feels more important than ever to tell this story and reclaim this event.”

The concert performance of the musical takes place June 24 at the Living Room in the Lower East Side of New York City, which also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the fire and features top talent, including Michael McElroy (Big River, The Wild Party, Rent), Nathan Lee Graham (The Wild Party, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Zoolander), Katie Thompson (Big Fish, Giant), Blake Daniel (Spring Awakening, Hello Again), Doreen Montalvo (Giant, In the Heights), Andrew Durand (War Horse, Spring Awakening, Yank!), MJ Rodriguez (Rent), and Rania Salem Manganaro (Hit the Wall). 

Nathan Lee Graham, who was last seen Off-Broadway in Hit the Wall, said he's excited since it's the first time he and Michael McElroy have worked together since The Wild Party, and the role of "Willie" was written especially for him. "The music is quite fantastic. Max Vernon's score is wonderful," Graham says. "He's really got a bright future ahead."